So, 2017 has been packed with interesting events, happenings, decisions and circumstances. We are not even halfway through the year, and I feel constantly in need of a drink.
My family was in a holding pattern for a while. My son and his girlfriend studying, with all they have to pass their Cambridge exams; my life partner battling with work and money; myself bitterly unhappy in my daily employment.
And then 2017 happened. My son and his girlfriend are dispersing to two opposite corners of America, my partner started his own business again, and I found happy employment with an old boss.
The four of us recently stood at the southern most tip of Africa; such a symbolic, special place. We took a selfie of our feet, standing at this most beautiful spot we call Africa – every one of us on the precipice of new beginnings. It was quite mind-blowing.
So off my beloved Roger goes. To his birthplace… America.
Maybe never to return, and if so, just for a visit. Maybe? Who knows?
My cousin called me: “Your heart must be in pieces?”
My response: “No.”
For 21 years I prepared my son for just this event. That moment when he made that crucial decision: “I need to make my own life”.
I didn’t have to kick him out. No coaxing. No threats. Just a realisation that life beckons and when you’re young, strong and confident, failure is not an option. No, my heart is relieved.
Her retort: “But it must have been really hard raising him on your own?”
No! It was a privilege. To not have to consider another opinion, to have carte blanche in all decisions. What an unique opportunity a huge responsibility yes, but a complete, 100% privilege.
And now my job is done and my life can continue. New beginnings, new opportunities, new discoveries and a dizzying freedom.
So, enough of empty nests I feel so parched. My garden is just giving up. I can’t handle this drought anymore. I feel like I am drying out. As if I am in sinc with my withering vegetables. Parched beyond endurance.
When I walk up my path barefoot on my once lush, green and now non-existing lawn, I feel like one of those 150-year-old tortoises with the accompanying leathery skin, slowly making my way up my prickly, dry and dead pathway.
Water! Water! Please, I am so thirsty. I really do need a drink. When it starts raining, I will be the crazy woman next to the highway dancing in the rain. So just smile and wave please.
I belong to a gardening club on Facebook, and what I love is there are people with no experience; people who can quote scientific names; people with years of experience; people who have just discovered the passion.
So to one such person I responded: “When you start referring to your garden in the third person When you feel her pulse when you suffer her thirst delight in her generosity understand that she feeds many creatures, not just you then you are truly in love. I congratulated her and said that I am in my 20th anniversary.
It made me think. When you are a gardener, then you are in a relationship with your garden. It is akin to a marriage. The ups and downs, the hard work, the reward.
And next season all starts again. A never-ending cycle .
I wrote a poem to help with my son leaving. It goes something like this:
Die Kind (I always referred to him as just that)
Hy loop hier uit, sonner bagasie
Sak ’* pak die toekoms in
Ligte voetspore, skaars ’* duik in die hede
Die verlede haal sy krom vinger uit
21 jaar van koester, van lewenslesse leer
Sy krom vinger krap in my hart en grawe twyfel uit
Die kind moet die toekoms bloots ry
Want tyd vir opsaal is maar min
Van klein tyd gesweis aan my, ’* stuk bloudraad hou ons vas
Leer en lag, trane van skade en trots,
Toekoms haal sy bliksker uit
Die bloudraad nou net ’* goue draad
Anita lives on a Boland farm.